UAE’s new labour regulations effective January 1 this year ensure that employees are treated fairly, with strict enforcement encouraging businesses in the country to protect the rights of their workers.
However, there are certain cases where an employer may fine or even dismiss an employee for misconduct and breach of duties, and it is important for all employees to understand the circumstances when these penalties can be imposed.
According to Article 102 of the UAE Labour Law, there are seven disciplinary rules that an employee should be aware of.
1) A warning
2) A fine
3) Suspension with reduced pay for a period not exceeding ten days
4) Deprivation from or deferment of periodic bonus in establishments containing a system for such bonuses
5) Deprivation from promotion in establishments applying a system for such promotion
6) Dismissal from work without prejudice to the end of service gratuity
7) Dismissal from work and deprivation from the total end of service gratuity or a part thereof.
These disciplinary rules may be inflicted by the employer or his/her representative. However, the law elaborates that such penalties will not be inflicted for reasons other than the ones mentioned exclusively in Article 120.
What is included in Article 120?
There are several clauses in Article 120 under which these disciplinary actions can be taken.
• Termination during probation or on its expiry.
• If the worker has adopted a false identity or nationality or submitted forged certificates or documents.
• If a worker makes a mistake causing substantial material loss to the employer provided the employer notifies the relevant labour department within 48 hours of the accident.
• If the worker disobeys instructions regarding industrial safety or the safety of the workplace provided the instructions have been issued in writing and are posted conspicuously in the workplace in a language accessible to the employee or explained to him orally.
• If the worker does not perform his basic duties under the contract and persists in violating these despite being investigated and receiving a written warning notifying him of termination in the event of repeat offences.
• If the worker reveals his employer’s trade or business secrets or confidential information.
• If the worker is finally sentenced by a competent court for an offence involving honour, honesty or public morals.
• If the worker is drunk or under the influence of an illegal drug during work.
• If while working the worker assaults the employer or his manager or a colleague.
• If the worker is absent from work without a valid reason for more than 20 non-consecutive days or more than 7 consecutive days.
Article 103 of the Law further states that a model list of disciplinary rules and rewards list can be made available to guide employers in setting their own rules in this regard.